About this Show

Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2013) (CC)

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Aig 15, California 13, America 9, Washington 6, Harry Reid 5, Nra 5, Jim 5, Hank Greenberg 5, U.s. 4, Roca 4, United States 3, Lifelock 3, Deb 3, Colorado 3, Tucson 3, Us 3, Sanjay 2, Dave Mustane 2, Wayne La Pierre 2, Jim Acosta 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.  (2013)  (CC)  

    January 9, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00am PST  

1:00am
tomorrow night i'll bring back larry pratt, executive director of gun owners of america. it got heated last time he was here. take a listen. >> i honestly don't understand why you would rather have people be victims of crime than defend themselves. it's incomprehensible. >> you are an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you? >> we'll see if things can be
1:01am
more constructive and civilized tomorrow night. on a big day, in a big week on the debate over gun control, we begin with a very low-profile gun law that's there are on the books. a law you probably don't know about, hidden in a very surprising place. we think you need to know about this law, because critics say it damages our ability to truly know, using serious science, the impact that guns have on public health and public safety, impeding research on gun safety, and preventing doctors from talking to patients about the potential health risks that come with gun ownership. advocates who support the law say it protects the rights of gun owners. the national rifle association somehow managed to put this stealth legislation into president obama's health care reform bill. the question is how and why. and why, whatever you think of a law, one of the president's top allies, that's right, the president's ally, helped the nra get it passed. no surprise that there's a big
1:02am
dose of politics involved here. jim acosta tonight is keeping 'em honest. >> when president obama signed national health care reform into law, few in washington knew that buried in the legislation's more than 900 pages was a gift to the nation's powerful gun lobby. but here it is. a provision entitled "protection of second amendment rights." it states the government and health insurers cannot collect any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition. the provision was such a secret, "the washington post" reports that some people in the white house didn't even know it existed, despite being in the president's signature legislation. joan alger did notice it. >> who put it in there? it might surprise you to learn it was this man, the most powerful democrat in congress, senate majority leader, harry reid. but why? a democratic source close to the
1:03am
passage of the health care law tells cnn, this is what was viewed as a relatively benign way to make sure the national rifle association didn't get involved with this. reid has been a top advocate of gun rights for years. in fact, just days after the health care law was signed, reid invited wayne la pierre, a top official at the nra, to the opening of this nevada weapons range. >> people who criticize this probably would criticize baseball. >> reporter: la pierre's visit was a big boost for reid, who was courting gun owners in his very pro-second amendment state of nevada, in a tough battle for re-election. >> i also want to thank you, senator, for your support every day at the federal level for the second amendment, and for the rights of american gun owners. >> both reid and the nra declined to talk to cnn on camera, but democratic sources on capitol hill say the nra was not the only threat to the president's health care bill. lawmakers were also worried about conspiracy theories,
1:04am
circulating among gun enthusiasts that falsely accused the obama administration of plotting to use the health care law to go after gun owners. one group, gun owners of america, insists it could still happen. >> it says that all of our medical records are available to be pawed through by bureaucrats somewhere in washington, looking for a reason to disenfranchise gun owners. >> the senate majority leader's views on gun control are changing. he's in a different place than he was in 2010, says an adviser. consider how reid answered the question after the july movie theater massacre in colorado. >> with the schedule that we have, we're not going to get into a debate on gun control. >> reporter: and how he responded after the killings in newtown. >> we need to accept the reality that we're not doing enough to protect our citizens. >> jim acosta joins us now along with sanjay gupta.
1:05am
jim, a majority of both houses of congress supported obamacare. how was it possible that this was a surprise to the people who introduced the bill and the people who voted for it? >> anderson, i talked to a number of congressional sources, sources over at the white house, advocacy groups. and i would have to say, some of them did know about this before it was passed, but it came very late in the game. here's the situation with the passage of the health care law. essentially, any part of this bill, had it been pulled out in the last stages of the legislative process, could have brought the whole thing down. so whether it was this gun control part, if that had been pulled out, i've been told by a couple of democratic sources, you know, some moderate democratic senators could have walked away from this bill at the last second. so they were just very, very afraid that any provision, had it been yanked out at the last second, could have brought the whole thing down. >> and sanjay, the provisions that were slipped in, what will they impact medically speaking? >> it's a pretty small provision.
1:06am
just five lines, really. it does not specifically forbid as part of the affordable care act, from doctors, forbid them for asking their patients about guns. it forbids them from collecting that information, documenting it, and using it for the purposes of research. that's the real concern here. or for the purposes of wellness programs. this whole idea, you try to do things within your own home to be safer, collecting this information about guns could not be part of this. the nra says this information could be used to discriminate against people in terms of their insurance premiums, people who want to have these conversations say, this is what you need to do to create more safety around this. >> and jim, has harry reid really shifted on gun control, or is this just a convenient position for him right now. >> we'll have to find out, anderson. you'll recall after the aurora shooting, he came out and talked to reporters and said, there just wasn't any time in the legislative calendar to deal with gun control. his office now says he has
1:07am
changed on that, he has changed on the issue of gun control. he made some pretty heartfelt comments on the floor of the senate after the newtown tragedy. keep in mind, there is a lot on the plate for congress. they have not only those spending cuts that were delayed as part of the fiscal cliff, they have the debt ceiling to deal with and now these nominations of chuck hagel and john brennan over to the defense department and cia. so now, it is a question of how much time they have, but a lot of people will be watching, does harry reid make that time? >> some states are taking this one step further, proposing state laws that would make it criminal for a doctor like yourself to ask a patient. you could lose your medical license for asking, is that correct? >> yeah, it was even more than that in the original version of the bill down in florida, for example. and there are seven other states like this. the original version is that you could impose jail time for simply asking. so a physician asking a patient about guns could land them in jail, according to the original version.
1:08am
there was a scaled back version that was subsequently put forward, that you could still lose your medical license, you could get financial penalties. that was subsequently overturned by a federal judge, but it's being appealed. so, yes, it could be even a step further in some of these states, even a step further than what's in the affordable care act. >> why would, sanjay -- what would an example be of why a doctor would ask a patient about owning a gun? >> i think the big thing here is they're not that it's anti-guns, trying to get rid of guns, they're trying to figure out what the safety protocol should be. i went to the doctor a couple months of ago, i go every year, they ask me about all sorts of things, knowing that i have small children in the house, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, swimming pools, and they asked me about guns as well. it's a public health perspective. if you look over a two-year period, for example, what you come to find for children between the ages of 5 to 14, it is guns that are the third leading cause of death.
1:09am
some 5,000 deaths over that time period, 5,740 deaths, you can see there. and look at the number of injuries, as well. close to 35,000, 34,387. this is vantage point from which doctors and health care professionals are speaking. >> what's interesting, jim, on the policy side, this is not the first time, jim, we have seen the nra have positions slipped into health care bills? >> that's right. this has happened before. and that's why it's interesting to have seen harry reid being a part of this. because it's the natural inclination to think it's the republicans who have been doing this. i interviewed howard dean back in 2004 when he was running for president, and at that time, he was talking about how he was a pro-gun rights democrat, a different kind of democrat. and this has changed and evolved over time for the democratic party. they have become very, very close to the national rifle association. and now i think their having
1:10am
some soul searching over that. >> interesting. sanjay, jim, thanks very much. >> you bet. >> let us know what you think about this law, if you knew about it, follow me on twitter @andersoncooper. up next, gabby giffords' new message on guns and how she's planning to put the heat on her old colleagues. >> announcer: you never know when, but thieves can steal your identity and turn your life upside down. >> hi. >> hi. you know, i can save you 15% today if you open up a charge card account with us. >> you just read my mind. >> announcer: just one little piece of information and they can open bogus accounts, stealing your credit, your money and ruining your reputation. that's why you need lifelock to relentlessly protect what matters most...
1:11am
[beeping...] helping stop crooks before your identity is attacked. and now you can have the most comprehensive identity theft protection available today... lifelock ultimate. so for protection you just can't get anywhere else, get lifelock ultimate. >> i didn't know how serious identity theft was until i lost my credit and eventually i lost my home. >> announcer: credit monitoring is not enough, because it tells you after the fact, sometimes as much as 30 days later. with lifelock, as soon as our network spots a threat to your identity, you'll get a proactive risk alert, protecting you before you become a victim. >> identity theft was a huge, huge problem for me and it's gone away because of lifelock. >> announcer: while no one can stop all identity theft, if criminals do steal your information, lifelock will help fix it, with our $1 million service guarantee. don't wait until you become the next victim. you have so much to protect and nothing to lose when you call lifelock now to get two full months of identity theft
1:12am
protection risk free. that's right, 60 days risk-free. use promo code: gethelp. if you're not completely satisfied, notify lifelock and you won't pay a cent. order now and also get this shredder to keep your documents out of the wrong hands-- a $29 dollar value, free. get protected now. call the number on your screen or go to lifelock.com to try lifelock protection risk free for a full 60 days. use promo code: gethelp. plus get this document shredder free-- but only if you act right now. call the number on your screen now!
1:13am
as we said at the top of the program, this is a very big moment in the debate over how to prevent the next gun tragedy. by the end of the month, a panel headed by vice president biden will recommend action. today, stanley mcchrystal said the military-style weapons don't belong in civilian hands.
1:14am
the accused colorado killer, who allegedly used such a weapon to kill 12 people, he was in court today. and for a few minutes today in tucson, arizona, the only noise to be heard was the sound of sadness. [ bell ringing ] >> a bell rang out, marking two years to the minute since the killings there. well, today, the best-known survivor, former congresswoman gabby giffords, took steps that she believes will prevent new bloodshed, or she hopes. she and her husband launching a political action committee, setting up a website they say designed to encourage lawmakers to stop gun violence, while protecting responsible gun ownership. they spoke tonight on abc "world news" about the pressing need to act. >> how did we get to the point where 85% of the children in the world that are killed with guns are killed in the united states? that is a sobering statistic. 85%. >> so that's what changed for you?
1:15am
>> yes. >> you told me before, when i said, are you angry, you said, no. it's life. do you still feel that way? >> no. >> do you get angry sometimes? >> yes, yes, yes. it's complicated. >> when it can happen to children in a classroom, it's time to say -- >> enough. >> gabby giffords was obviously one of the fortunate ones. she survived, six others died, including a 9-year-old girl named christina taylor green, who had come to see the congresswoman speak. she had just been elected to the student council. two years later, her mom, roxana is lending her voice to a campaign called, demand a plan to end gun violence. >> 21 heartbroken families lost a child in the sandy hook school shooting. i know how much it hurts. my 9-year-old daughter was murdered in the tucson shooting.
1:16am
i have one question for our political leaders. when will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. >> that's not all she has to say. i spoke to her earlier tonight. >> roxana, you appear in a new ad from mayors against illegal guns, in which you say, i have one question for political leaders, when will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby? do you believe that the time has come? that political leaders are ready to stand up? >> absolutely. i am very confident that our leaders in washington are going to do something. they already are. president obama and vice president biden are already, have already formed a committee and i'm very confident they will come up with a solution right away. >> and to be clear, you and your husband both own guns. your husband's a hunter. so you're not against gun ownership correct? >> absolutely not, we believe strongly in the second amendment. we are both gun owners. my husband and his whole family hunt. we just want to make sure that illegal guns don't get into the hands of dangerous people.
1:17am
>> so in a perfect world, what would a plan be that you would support? >> well, i would support a plan where drug trafficking is a federal crime, where assault military-style weapons and the capacity magazines are banned like they were in 1994. also, i think every gun that's purchased in this country should be required to have a background check. i think that's the most important one. >> a criminal background check? >> yes. how much of this is informed by your own loss? you wrote a book called "as good as she imagined" and you honor your daughter. you started a foundation in her name. is your push for change in gun laws another way to keep your daughter's legacy alive? >> absolutely. i want to make sure that christina taylor didn't die in vain, the other people in tucson didn't die in vain. the thousands and thousands of people, over 5,000 people every year in the united states, i want to make sure none of the innocent people die in vain.
1:18am
i'll continue with my work, mayors against illegal weapons and demandaplan.org for as long as it takes. if it takes a lifetime, so be it. i really don't think it's going to take that much longer, because i think everyone in this country has been really saddened and hurt and touched by what happened in newtown, and i think people are ready to act right now. >> and to those who say, you know, look, this is -- gun ownership is enshrined in the constitution, the second amendment, and no limitations on guns are acceptable or current gun laws just need to be enforced more? >> i think it's a little bit ridiculous. i don't know a lot of people who drive around in a tank or have a tank at their house. there's no reason why they need to have military-style assault weapons that were basically designed to kill people quickly, massive amounts of people quickly. i don't think people need to own
1:19am
those. i don't believe they belong in their homes or basements, that's my personal opinion. >> roxana, i appreciate you being on. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> let's talk about the raw politics of actually getting something done. is it possible? the fact that no one can agree on what to do, that also helps. there's also the timing, this all happening with congress knee-deep in the financial mess. let's talk about it with republican consultant, margaret hoover, and on the left, "new york times" columnist, charles blow. charles, what about the idea that congress can't do things, can't walk and chew gun at the same time and they're focused on the budget and they have limited bandwidth. do you think anything can really -- >> i think there is limited bandwidth, that's true, but i think there's energy for this at this point. and if i think if you are going to do something, this is one of the moments you have to do it. i think you do in a political way have to think about strike when the iron is hot. and the iron is hot now.
1:20am
and what we have had in this country for the longest period of time, years, is a one-sided conversation, which is the gun rights advocates have dwarfed the gun control advocates in terms of spending, both in terms of lobbying, and in terms of campaign financing. so you've had just one side talking and the other side being quiet, because they were kind of afraid if they came out and said something about gun control, in any way, that they would be attacked. and so now you are at least having a conversation where both sides are speaking. and that means that this is a moment where you can actually get something done. >> you have a lot of members of congress from conservative districts, look at harry reid out there with wayne la pierre from the nra, isn't that ultimately the bottom line? these men and women want to get re-elected? >> but also think about the countervailing forces here. the truth of the matter is, the nra, for being a powerful lobby, is a lobby that represents 4.2 million gun owners. it represents a grassroots
1:21am
movement. the truth is, americans like their second amendment, they like their guns. so they're actually representing the will of the people. it's not just gun makers who are there -- >> but there are a lot of hunters and people who actually own guns than members of the nra. >> and you can't disconnect the interest of the gunmakers from the nra. gunmakers, if you look at the stocks of gunmaker, through the roof. just in one year. and in fact, every time there is a major shooting, gun sales in that area and to a lesser degree, nationwide, again, go through the roof. >> but the reason they go through the roof, charles, is people are afraid that gun legislation is going to get passed and people are going to come take away -- >> but the nra fans those flames. and they've been trying to piston themselves into grassroots, as you say. and that's probably the best way to sell it -- but i don't think that's accurate. i think the nra is basically a front for gunmakers. and i think the nra, basically,
1:22am
its advocates are -- advocates for gun makers. if you were just worried about people who wanted the own guns, that means you want to hunt, you want to protect yourself, there are a lot of things you could do short of saying or advocating for not being able to trace weapons. there's a lot of things you could do, instead of advocating for never being able to, as you said in your first segment, ask a patient, do you have guns in your home? those things are not about taking anybody's guns away. >> but charles, to push back on that, if you are head of an advocacy group, your job is to stop any incursion on your power base at all, whether it's a small thing or not. >> we can also talk about, in sheer dollars, the nra spent $10 million in the last election, in the 2012 election cycle. major bloomberg spent 13 million in the last election cycle. so we talk about this big, powerful lobby. there are a lot of other special interest groups that have a lot more money, including individuals who are funding anti-gun efforts.
1:23am
>> so you're saying -- >> no, it wasn't anti-gun, but mayor bloomberg spent $13 million in the last election cycle, so there is a lot of money that's going to be poured into this. the nra is going to be dwarfed. they are not by any means the largest special interests in politics. and the reality, charles, the one thing you have to acknowledge when we talk about the politics of this, is that the assault on weapons ban wasn't renewed in 2004, and democrats, largely credit, not large -- but credit in part their loss of congress in 1994 to the pass on the assault weapons ban. the truth is, this isn't, as you point out, anderson, a partisan issue. this is gun owners -- the nra has a-listers -- >> but your position on nra is based on money. to your point, they have 4 million members who are very
1:24am
energized and who in local districts would be very upset if their congressman or senator -- >> but isn't that then a representative of the populous? isn't it then representing the people's desire? which is why i think if you're going to see change in gun legislation, it's got to come from the public and not from washington. and i do think something has changed after newtown. i do think that there is something that hit a chord with the american public, where people are evaluating, okay, to what extent am i willing to balance my right to have a gun, my right to hunt with what makes sense -- >> so you think -- >> i think something has changed after newtown. i think the will of the populous has changed. when the rubber hits the wheel in washington, it's still going to be difficult. you have the practicality of the debt crisis. the sequester hasn't even been handled, let alone immigration, which the president promised to do. i don't know if you can get all of those done.
1:25am
>> i think that frame is wrong. when we talk about gun control and only talk about gun owners as the only people involved in that situation, that is the wrong frame. i have -- you have a right to own a gun. i have a right to not own a gun and still feel safe in this society. and the fact that we are not having the discussion that incorporates the people who choose to not have a gun in this society and want to be safe -- >> and that's where you believe -- >> that's the frame. >> and that's where you believe that you're seeing a change? that there is now more people joining this conversation as opposed to just gun owners? >> absolutely. >> interesting. charles blow from "the new york times", thanks very much. margaret hoover, thank you very much. up next, thanking america for a $182 billion bailout, money that you the taxpayers gave to aig to bail them out.
1:26am
1:27am
1:28am
1:29am
another keeping 'em honest report now. this one hard to believe, but it is true. during the financial crisis, taxpayers, back in 2008, the government bailed out insurance giant aig to the tune of $182 billion. the taxpayers gave $182 billion to bailout aig, because there were real concerns it was too big to fail. that not doing so could have led to the collapse of the entire financial system, globally. now, that very same company, aig, that took that $182 billion of your money from the government, they may now actually sue the federal government over the terms of the bailout.
1:30am
the one that saved it from its own bad decisions. here's how grim those days were. take a look. >> of all the events and all the things we've done over the last 18 months, the single one that makes me the angriest, that gives me the most angst, is the intervention with aig. here was a company that made all kinds of unconscionable bets, then when those bets went wrong, we had a situation where the failure of that company would have brought down the financial system. >> deciding to support aig was one of the most difficult choices i have ever been involved in, in over 20 years of public service. we acted because the consequences of aig failing would have been catastrophic for our economy and for american families and businesses. >> remember back then, a nightmare. so back in september of 2008,
1:31am
chairman and ceo ed liddy said aig appreciated, quote, the lifeline the government had given it. they appreciated it. today, aig is still thanking the government. this ad is running right now. take a look. >> we've repaid every dollar that america lent to us. >> everything, plus a profit of more than $22 billion. >> for the american people. >> aig, we turned it around. >> thank you, america. >> thank you, america. >> thank you, america, for the freedom to ensure a brighter future. >> well, gosh, that seems really nice. it's all true. aig is profitable today, it paid back the money it got. so what is its beef right now with the government? well, the lawsuit claims the terms of the bailout, including the high interest rate that it had to pay were unfair to its shareholders. to be clear, aig has not decided whether to join the lawsuit, which was filed in 2011 by shareholders, but aig's ceo says he has a fiduciary and legal duty to consider the lawsuit.
1:32am
cnn's ali velshi joins me now. when i heard this, i was really kind of stunned about this. what do you make of this? >> it's truly amazing. remember you and i talking four years and three months ago about this bailout and how mad people were. and one of the things governments had to do was to suggest that the interest rate on this loan was high enough so it would compel aig to pay it back quickly and send the message, you don't get free money for behaving the irresponsible way that aig did. a bunch of shareholders filed a lawsuit in 2011. a group led by hank greenberg, who really built this company up, they feel that the terms of this deal, and hank greenberg was not involved when the deal was made. they feel that the terms were too onerous, the government, and now the board of aig has a responsibility to say, let's evaluate this lawsuit, they'll give an answer by the end of the month to determine whether they want to be a party, whether they don't want to be a party, and let hank go ahead and represent them, or they want nothing to do with them.
1:33am
>> does hank greenberg's argument have validity? >> this has worked its way through the judicial process already, through the judicial system. hank greenberg -- this lawsuit was thrown out by one court. it was then appealed to another court, and the second court has said, you have to go to the board and see if they want in on this. it's a serious case. david boies, who we know is representing the shareholders. they sequestered -- they requested 16 million documents. they've since reduced that to about 10 million. but they're trying to determine the relationship that the united states treasury had with aig to see if they knew of what was going on beforehand. >> could aig have not taken the lifeline? >> no. if aig didn't take the lifeline, aig would have gone under. and the consequence of aig going under is that aig insures every airplane you ever fly on, every business that takes place in the entire world. this would have really brought the planet to a stop.
1:34am
so everybody who agreed say, let's hold our noses and give aig this bailout. >> so they were forced into an onerous loan? >> they would have been bankrupt and there would have been a different kind of lawsuit. it's such a ludicrous, objection able argument that if they didn't take the money, they would have been out of business, so we the taxpayer should have given them a better terms on a deal for basically coming close to ruining the world's economy. >> and there's a public relations aspect to this. if they're spending all this money putting out commercials, painting this rosy picture of aig, it's not going to look too good if they turn around and sue the u.s. government. >> and ed liddy came in to help, the ceo now, these are not guys who are part of the problem. so they really are thankful that america bailed them out and this company is back on its legs after having paid america back. this is a different crew.
1:35am
this shareholder lawsuit is the old ceo, hank greenberg, who has a big beef generally with government. he was forced out of his job, largely because of eliot spitzer. he's just mad at everybody. but it's a serious lawsuit. this is the executive and the board of aig having to say, do we want part of this lawsuit? >> ali velshi, thanks so much. deborah feyerick is here with the "360" bulletin. >> the one and only suspect held in connection with the u.s. attack on the consulate in libya on september 11th has been freed by tunisian authorities. still, he remains a suspect. four americans were killed in the attack, including u.s. ambassador, chris stevens. a lawyer for three of the five men charged with the deadly gang rape and beating of a 23-year-old woman in india says he is telling his clients to plead not guilty. since her death, there have been angry protests over the country's treatment of women and its handling of sex abuse cases. in jordan, a muddy mess for
1:36am
syrian refugees. heavy rains have pounded the camp that holds at least 45,000 displaced people. and u.n. officials say the cold weather is making life miserable. here at home, 2012 was the hottest year on record for the lower 48. according to noaa, the average temperature was 55.3 degrees fahrenheit, more than 3 degrees warmer than average and 1 degree above the previous record. and for the first time ever, we are getting a look at a giant squid deep in the ocean. the squid has eyes the size of dinner plates and if its tentacles weren't damaged, it would have been 26 feet long. the footage was shot by a scientist at a japanese facility. >> deb, thanks very much. just ahead, a california law, this is a really surprising law i didn't know about, i think you'll be stunned by it. it's a california law back from 1872, but still on the books
1:37am
uhh, it's next month, actually... eddie continues singing: to tickets to... paradiiiiiise! no four. remember? whoooa whooaa whooo! you know ronny, folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. and how happy are they jimmy? happier than eddie money running a travel agency. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him,
1:38am
and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
1:39am
1:40am
so, a legal loophole we didn't know about. it's a legal loophole in this country that actually protects some rapists who prey on unmarried woman. that's right. you heard right. a law that makes the distinction between married and unmarried rape victims. it's happening right here in the united states in 2013. even though the law allows it was written more than a century ago in 1872. it's still being used today.
1:41am
in fact, recently, it forced a california appeals court to overturn a rape conviction. the outcry has been intense. the california lawmakers who allowed the loophole to remain on the books, they are under fire tonight. here's cnn's kyung lah. >> reporter: what happened on the streets sounded like rape to police. julio morales sleeps into the bedroom of a sleeping 18-year-old woman. in a hand-written note to police, he writes, she started to confuse with her boyfriend. the woman at first consents and then resists when she realizes it's not her boyfriend. according to a california law dating back to 1872, what happened is not a crime. an appellate decision overturning morales' conviction spells out why. has the man committed rape? because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no. even though if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes.
1:42am
>> my first reaction was, you've got to be kidding. we're now prosecuting rape based on 140-year-old laws that long ago stopped making sense. >> reporter: the case may shock advocates, but not this assemblyman. he already had heard about the old 1872 law from an upset prosecutor in his district. so in 2011, he introduced a bill in california's assembly that would protect all women, whether married or single against rape by impersonation. what did you expect would happen to the bill? >> i said, we'll go through this, no-brainer, everybody will support it wholeheartedly. there was no question about it. >> reporter: he was right, sort of. the bill passed without a single no vote in the state assembly. but then it moved on to the senate side, to the senate public safety committee. the seven members never took it to a vote. why? a policy adopted in 2007 by the senate's democratic leadership.
1:43am
it's called roca or the receivership overcrowding crisis advocation policy. this committee will not vote on public safety bills that could put more prisoners in california's already-crowded prisons. even something as seemingly simple as the assemblyman's bill. what does it say to you about policies, about sacramento, about lawmakers when a no-brainer bill can't get out of committee? >> unfortunately, red tape and bureaucrats, and sometimes that makes such a sense. >> reporter: critics believe members could have voted on this issue, but chose not to. but according to a spokeswoman, the committee's vice chairman wants to get rid of roca so that all bills get voted on. >> there might have been in the past, there might have been a good excuse for the roca file in the past, but it was abused. it's basically now being used as political cover, so that members of the committee don't have to take tough votes.
1:44am
>> reporter: we went to the office of the chairwoman who took time to try to explain that it's not as simple as it looks. it looks like the legislature, the committee, just chose not to act to protect women. is that what's happening here? >> no. we are between a federal court order to reduce our prison population by tens of thousands of prisoners and a mandate not to build new prisons either, because we can't afford it. >> reporter: assemblyman asangian just this week introduced a new version of his bill, hoping that now because of public outrage, it will actually get voted on this time. >> we're not able to put that woman's right in this 21st century, it's like, what's next? >> kyung lah joins me now.
1:45am
now that the assemblyman is again introducing the bill, will it actually get voted on? isn't roca still in place? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. roca is still in place, but the landscape has changed, according to the committee chairman. the governor just today of california said that the prison overcrowding problem here in california has improved and he feels that the emergency status needs to be lifted. but, certainly, a lot of public scrutiny on this, anderson, is going to help maybe get this 1872 law, perhaps, updated. >> incredible. kyung, thanks very much. kamala harris is california's attorney general. she joins me now. i realize this law was crafted back in the 1870s. why is it still on the books in 2013? >> anderson, you're right. seven years after the civil war was when this law was written. and i'll tell you, we have a lot of old laws on the books. in fact, the government code for california refers to the attorney general as "he" in most sections where it talks about her authority. so we certainly have arcane laws
1:46am
on the books, but the most important thing is we fix this problem and put the law back on the side of victims. because in this case, we're talking about a woman who was raped and she deserves justice. and we want to make sure also that that rapist faces severe and swift accountability and consequence. >> it's also like this is something that hasn't been called into question for decades. it prevented prosecutors pursuing a rape charge a few years ago. and there was a bill that passed the house several years ago but died in the senate. what happened? >> that year, there were a number of criminal justice initiatives that stalled because of concern that they would add to the budget, the criminal justice budget of california. i don't agree with that, but that's what happened. the environment is different this time, and i'm actually pleased to tell you that the speaker of the assembly, john perez, and others have engaged in a bipartisan approach to fixing this and there's bipartisan support for pushing through a law that would fix the problem.
1:47am
and essentially, what it will do is this. instead of referring to rape by fraud, only if the perp is impersonating the spouse, it will be, if the perpetrator is impersonating an intimate partner, which more accurately flects common and modern-day relationships. >> so, wait, you said it died in the senate because it would have increased the budget. is that in part part of increasing the prison population? >> that's correct, exactly right. as you know, california recently underwent a shift in criminal justice policy, where we realigned state responsibilities for low-level offenders to the counties, because a three-judge court panel decided that we rightly had decided that we had an overcrowding problem in california state prisons, and we needed to relieve the population there. but what happened in the legislature, over the course of many years, is that to lesson
1:48am
the burden on the prison system, there was -- they stalled criminal justice measures from going forward that would increase penalties for offenders. >> and what would -- what happens -- i mean, the court overturns the conviction and advised prosecutors to base their case on a different law. if this law is changed, is it possible the accused could be retry under the new rape law, as an impersonation law. or would double jeopardy laws prevent that? >> no, the court returned it for it to be retried. so it would be retried. that's what we expect. my office is still making a determination where we are in terms of the appeals process, but that was the order of the court. >> attorney general, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll continue obviously to follow that and see what happens. still ahead, new photos of a former fbi agent who went missing in iran more than five years ago are released. they're pretty shocking photos and we'll show you them. plus this -- a frightening fall, a couple
1:49am
getting married inside a hot air balloon and exchanging vows, brings new meaning to the phrase "wedding crashers." their story, next.
1:50am
1:51am
1:52am
let's get the latest on some other stories we're following. deb feyerick's back with the "360" bulletin. >> prosecutors played the first 911 calls from the shooting that left 12 people dead in an aurora, colorado, movie theater. in one call, 30 gunshots can be
1:53am
heard in the background in 27 seconds. they have called a preliminary hearing to determine if the prosecutors have enough evidence to put james holmes on trial. and chicago police have opened a murder investigation into the poisoning death of a man who recently won $1 million on a scratch-off lottery ticket. the medical examiner's office initially ruled he'd died of natural causes, but after prompting from a relative, the office went back and found there was a lethal amount of cyanide in his system. and the family of a retired fbi agent who was last seen in 2007, today the family released photos of him that they got in april. bob leavenson was last seen in iran. u.s. officials have said they think he's being held hostage somewhere in southeast asia. the fbi has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to his safe return. >> that's so crazy. he's been missing for so long, and suddenly these pictures pop up of him being held prison somewhere. >> proof of life. >> deb, thanks so much. time for tonight's shot.
1:54am
check out this video, a hot air balloon crashed into a backyard in san diego, moments after a couple aboard exchanged vows. a friend of the couple captured it all on cell phone video. they have no idea they're about to crash. take a look at this. >> the newlyweds say they hit a fence or board, skidded and crashed. one person was taken to the hospital with a minor back injury but no one else was hurt. >> apparently the groom is afraid of heights and the bride talked him into it. so i think it's safe to say, that's probably their first argument as a married couple. >> it's only up from here. >> that's exactly right. >> deb, thanks very much. up next, what happens when the heavy metal lifestyle collides with purveyors of men's suits. the ridiculist, next.
1:55am
1:56am
1:57am
1:58am
time now for the ridiculist. and tonight we delve into the challenging world of the heavy metal superstar. it's a hard rock life for people like dave mustane, formerly of metallica. do you think it's easy to shred on guitar like for a living night after night? long hours in the studio, always being on the road, not to mention taking time out of one's busy, hard-rocking schedule to explain the devil's tritone to a reporter from "nightline". >> the devil's tritone is made up of three notes, and this note right here drops down, so it goes -- ♪
1:59am
so listen to the difference. ♪ it just sounds evil, doesn't it? >> there's no doubt about it. dave mustane is as rocking as they come, and now he is directing his take no prisoners heavy metal energy at a men's warehouse in salt lake city, utah. that's right, the suit store. it seems that mr. mustane bought a gift certificate for his tour manager, but alas it did not arrive in time for christmas, so he posted a 430-word rant on the mega death facebook page. it reads in part, "it turns out that they decided to hold my order, otherwise called by them as pending, and told no one. for almost nine days now, i have been waiting for delivery of this gift certificate. they guaranteed a two-day delivery of the certificate." let me point out, we are all old. you know you're old when one of the founding members of metallica is upset about a customer services issue with a men's warehouse in salt lake city. need i remind you, this is the same person who is responsible for such megadeath hits as

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)